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iPhone 16 Pro to get two big camera upgrades, Ming-Chi Kuo says

Published Jan 4th, 2024 6:50AM EST
iPhone 15 Pro Max Screen
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple insider who is almost always correct about unreleased Apple products, is back with a new prediction concerning the future of the iPhone. This time, he’s looking at Genius’ profit prospects for the year, a camera supplier for various Apple products. Kuo says that Genius will provide key components for two iPhone 16 Pro cameras, detailing the big upgrades. 

One is the telephoto camera, which will receive a tetraprism like the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s zoom camera. The other is the ultra-wide lens, which will get a 48-megapixel sensor.

Several reports claim that Apple wants to bring tetrazoom lenses to the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max this year. For that to happen, Apple needs to increase the size of the smaller Pro. The tetraprism lens occupies more space, and Apple has to account for the battery when designing a smaller iPhone Pro with a periscope lens. 

As a result, the iPhone 16 Pro will feature a 6.3-inch display instead of the traditional 6.1-inch size used for this model. That is, the phone will be taller and wider than before. 

The change also impacts the iPhone 16 Pro Max size, which will grow accordingly. We’re looking at a 6.9-inch screen instead of the 6.7-inch panel on the current Pro Max models. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras
iPhone 15 Pro Max camera system. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Kuo’s latest report focuses mainly on the iPhone 16 Pro cameras. But he indicates that the periscope lens camera is on track. Genius will start shipping the tetraprism cameras for the iPhone 16 Pro at the end of the second quarter of 2024 or early into the third quarter: 

Replacement demand for the two iPhone 16 Pro models will benefit from the larger screen, increasing shipments by 5–10% compared to the iPhone 15 Pro series. Therefore, even considering the 10–15% price reduction of the periscope lens and Largan remaining the main supplier, the high unit price of the iPhone 16 Pro periscope lens can still contribute significantly to Genius’ revenue and profit in 2H24.

Genius will also provide ultra-wide lenses for the iPhone 16 Pro models. According to Kuo, the company will be the main supplier of 48-megapixel lenses for the Pro handsets. That’s going to be a big upgrade for the iPhone 16 Pro models, going from 12-megapixel to 48-megapixel lenses. But the camera will still shoot 12-megapixel photos: 

The ultra-wide camera of the iPhone 16 Pro series will be upgraded to 48MP/0.7um/(1/2.6″) (vs. iPhone 15 Pro’s 12MP/1.0um/(1/3.6″)). The expected output specification is 12MP, which will significantly improve image quality. The iPhone 16 Pro ultra-wide camera remains the 6P lens design, so the lens unit price increase is limited.

Kuo doesn’t say anything about the iPhone 16 Pro’s main camera. But I’d expect Apple to keep in place the 48-megapixel wide camera for another year. That’s not to say that other upgrades aren’t happening. The software side will certainly bring camera improvements. Just that the hardware might not receive any major change next year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.